Canola oil is a healthy alternative to using vegetable oil because of its low impact on cholesterol, but if you're allergic to it, you will experience undesirable symptoms. An allergy to canola oil is considered uncommon but can cause minor to severe symptoms. If you notice that every time you consume food products made with canola oil you develop an adverse reaction, you need to talk with your physician.
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A food allergy is caused by a malfunction of the immune system, according to MayoClinic.com. Your immune system doesn't recognize the proteins in the canola oil as a safe substance and forms an attack against them. The immune system creates immunoglobulin E antibodies, or IgE, that fight against the proteins. IgE antibodies trigger mast cells to create histamine, a natural chemical in the body that protects it from infection. During a canola oil allergy, histamine levels are very high, causing inflammation and swelling, which leads to common symptoms.
Symptoms can develop within a few minutes or can take up to a few hours before they appear, according to Medline Plus. Symptoms may include digestive difficulty, asthma, respiratory issues and skin reactions. Digestive symptoms are cramping, stomach pain, gas, vomiting, diarrhea, bloating and nausea. You may develop asthma symptoms, such as wheezing, chest tightness, difficulty breathing and shortness of breath. Inflammation in the respiratory symptom can cause nasal congestion, sneezing, a runny nose and watery eyes. These symptoms can cause sinus headaches, post-nasal drip and facial tenderness. Your skin may become inflamed and irritated, causing hives, eczema and itchiness.
Identifying and avoiding the consumption of canola oil is the most effective treatment, according to MayoClinic.com. Read the labels of all products closely before ingesting them and disclose your allergy to the server when you eat out. Some medications, such as antihistamines, decongestants and hydrocortisone may help minor allergy symptoms. Your doctor may have you see an allergist for further testing to confirm a true allergy.
As with any food allergy, you may experience anaphylactic shock, a sudden and extreme allergic reaction. During anaphylaxis, your body enters a state of shock because of excessive amounts of histamine throughout the body. The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology states that common anaphylaxis symptoms include hives, low pulse, loss of consciousness, trouble swallowing, nasal congestion, chest pain, anxiety, nausea and vomiting. Anaphylaxis can lead to death if not properly treated.